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stroke of the emphatic gesture. It will be recollected that contracting and retracting gestures are reckoned amongthe sus.

Diag. 20. pending gestures, as being made previous to some forcible ef. fort, and are, therefore, preparatory to the gestures which ensue. In order to il lustrate what is here advanced, let it be supposed that the emphatic gesture requires a strong per- R cussion of the arm descending forwards, as shf st. the preparation for this is the suspending, or prepara tory gesture nef bn — , as in the following example: nef bo

shf st
Hear me for my cause. Shakspeare.

стра. An example of a preparatory contracting gesture: of st

ohf rj I hate the drum's discordant sound.t – Langhorne. A gesture across, which passes rapidly to the ex tended position, may also be used as a preparation for rejection :

The letters, nef on, signify, natural elevated forwards bendig shf st, supine horizontal forwards striking.

7 The letters, vhf ri, signify, vertical horizontal forward retract ing; vhf rj, vertical horizontal forwards rejecting.




ohc Who's here so base that would be a bondman? - Shaka Another example of a previous contracted gesture:

Brhf rt To hear the rvar she sends through all her gates.-Coup.

In the passage from Cowper, the suspending, or previous gesture, Bvhf rj, contains all the letters belonging to the subsequent emphatic gesture, except the last (p). This new letter, only, is exo pressed, and is joined by a long dash, or mark of connexion, with the notation letters of the preceding gesture : another line of connexion, joining this letter to x, signifies that both hands continuing in the same position, viz. vertical, the arms are to be extended. The gestures, marked at large on this line, would be as follows:

Bvhf rt

Brhf p To hear the roar she sends through all her gates. But the former method is preferable, as it abridges the trouble of notation, and is equally intelligible.

The connexion of gesture is, therefore, the relation which one gesture bears to another; and it is shown by the notation of the circumstances in which they agree, and of those in which they differ. Thus, the gestures noted in the foregoing line agree, first, in being common to both hands (B), and then in the position of each hand, v (vertica'), and also in the elevation of both arms, h (horizontal). So that it is unnecessary to repeat those circumstances in which they agree, as the connecting-dash expresses them with sufficient clearness, and with greater brevity.

The connexion of gesture in the vertical direction, when the hand, without altering its posture, merely ascends by short intervals, in order to mark a sucers. sion of discriminating gestures, is noted by the usual connecting-dash, and an a over the word where the hand ascends.

The letters, ohc, signify, the hand outwards, the arm hori zontal across; x rj, extended rejecting.

Buhf ri, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal forwards re. tracting ; Bohf p, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal forwards pushing; Buhz, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal extended.

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I mourn the pride

-nef - shf st And avarice that make man & wolf to man. Cowper. But this passage would perhaps answer better with he auxiliary gesture, thus:

Bphf a vef

I mourn the pride - vef

Bnef on Bshf st And avarice that make man a wolf to man. The transition of gesture relates to the manner of arriving at a gesture, and to the changes of gesture; and signifies either the particular changes of the position of the hand and arm, or the general change of the principal gesture from one hand to the other. • A gesture may have a very different character and effect, according to the manner in which the hand arrives at its destined point. It may ascend, descend, move towards the right, or towards the left, and may also make the stroke with various degrees of energy, , and in various ways; and these motions constitute, in each, an absolutely different gesture, though, after the moment of the stroke, which a painter might choose to represent, the hand and arm of each should be in the same precise position. (Fig. 85, p. 100.) As, however, the emphatic gestures are liable to ambiguity, on account of the various transitions which might be supposed to bring them to their stroke, painters more frequently choose to represent the suspending gestures, which give an idea of action, and greater interest to their principal figures.

But the transition of gesture particularly relates to the change of the principal gesture from one hand to

Bphf a, both hands prone horizontal forwards ascending, cef (followed by a dash), right hand vertical elevated forwards ; vef (preceded by a dashi), left hand vertical elevated forwards; Bnef bn, both hands natural elevated forwards bending; Bshf st, both hands supine horizontal forwards striking.

the other, which may be regulated, in some measure, according to the following principles. So long as there subsists a strict connexion between the sentiments, uninterrupted by any considerable pause, or change of persons, no transition can take place in this last sense: the same hand which began, continues to perform the principal gesture. And the variety which it is always desirable to produce, must not be attempted by the change of the principal gesture: it must arise alone from the graceful and well-regulated action of the advanced hand, supported by the combined assistance or accompaniment of the other. If the passage to be pronounced be of considerable length, the right hand should perform the principal gesture throughout the whole of it. For the left, though allowed to take its place occasionally, according to certain rules, by no means arrives at an equality of honour. The right hand always continues the better hand, both from long prescription, and the ability arising from use.

In the narrative parts of an oration, where different persons or things are to be described as variously disposed, or in the recitation of descriptive poetry, when a picture, as it were, is to be represented by the speaker, consisting of many natural objects in different parts of a landscape, of which Gray's Elegy in a Country Church-yard will afford many examples, the right hand having first pointed out those persons or objects supposed to lie adjacent to itself, may yield to the left the arrangement and ordering of those other parts, which may be imagined to be at its own side. This interchange, judiciously regulated, produces a pleasing variety in the gesture; and if the speaker possess the imagination of a painter, his disposition and colouring will produce the most distinct and vivid picture.

Variety, which is a most important object to be kept in view by a public speaker, allows, with advantage, an interchange of the principal gesture, even when the subject may be of a more abstruse and demonstrative nature. When there is any opposition, or antithesis, among the ideas, or even in the structure of sentences, or where a new argument is introduced, after the discussion of a former is ended, as at a new division, or a new paragraph, there may be a change of the principal gesture. But it will be a point of judgment and taste in the speaker not to carry this balancing, or alternation of gesture, to an affected extreme, and not, even in allowable cases, to indulge in it overmuch; nor will he prolong too far the principal action permitted to the left hand, which he will always remember is the weaker, and admitted into the foremost place rather by courtesy than of right; and which he will, therefore, restrict with discretion in the exercise of this occasional distinction.

In the changes made from one hand to the other, the transition should be managed with ease and simplicity. As soon as the advanced hand has made the stroke of its last emphatic gesture, it should fall quietly to rest, whilst, at the same time, the hand which is, in its turn, to assume the principal action, commences its preparation for the ensuing gesture. It will be observed that a commencing, or discriminating gesture, should be gentle, as a modest beginning suits its first entrance into authority. An emphatic gesture immediately after one from the other hand, would be violent and outrageous; something like the gesticulations of those little wooden figures set up to frighten birds from corn, or fruit, which have the arms fixed on an axis in such a manner that they are alternately raised and depressed with equal vehemence, according as they are blown about by the wind.

When the orator finds it necessary to change the position of the feet, so as to advance that which was before retired, the general rule is that he should effect it imperceptibly, and not commence the change till after the hand has begun its change of action. Some times, however, in vehement passages, the orator is

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